Best Cross-Stitch Books for Beginner – Top 5 Picks for 2021

This is our official list of the best cross-stitch books for beginners on the market today. Scroll further down for full details on each product and more info on cross stitch.

Quick Look:

  1. 5.0 out of 5.0 stars Cross Stitch For Beginners
  2. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars Cross Stitch: Learn Cross Stitch FAST!
  3. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars Embroider Everything Workshop: The Beginner’s Guide
  4. 4.5 out of 5.0 stars  400 Knitting Stitches: A Complete Dictionary of Essential Stitch Patterns
  5. 4.0 out of 5.0 stars Two-Hour Cross-Stitch: Animals: 300 Quick & Easy Designs

We know time is of the essence, so the above is a cheat sheet of what’s ahead, just in case your’re in a hurry. Otherwise, keep scrolling down for more detailed and constructive info on each item.

5 Highest Reviewed Beginners Cross-Stitch Books

Cross stitch is a popular form of embroidery in which thread is stitched onto fabric in an “X” shape. Cross stitching is the oldest kind of embroidery, and examples of it can be found all over the world, from Asia to Europe and the Americas. To create a design, the stitches follow a charted pattern, in which each X on the pattern represents one stitch.

Cross stitch is typically done on a woven fabric, such as linen or aida cloth, which ensures that there are an equal number of stitches in one square inch going vertically and horizontally. Because there are a specific number of stitches in the grid-like pattern, this form of cross stitch is also called “counted cross stitch.” Cross stitch designs can decorate clothing and household items, such as pillow cases, purses, and curtains, as well as stand alone as their own works of art.

Although cross stitching itself is fairly simple, learning the craft can be overwhelming, as there are more stitches than just the cross stitch: There are also half, quarter, three-quarter, back, and French stitches. In addition, learning to use the thread and fabric takes time. For cross stitch beginners, below are the five best cross stitch books that will help you get started stitching.

1.) Cross Stitch For Beginners

Cross Stitch For Beginners

Number one on this list of the best cross stitch books for beginners is “Cross Stitch for Beginners” by Leisure Arts. Leisure Arts has written several books on cross stitching, but this volume is a favorite of newcomers to the craft. The book’s philosophy is that cross stitch is painting with embroidery thread on fabric, and it introduces beginners to all the materials and techniques needed to do so.

With full-color photographs, clear instructions, and a section on how to read a chart, “Cross Stitch for Beginners” is a valuable introduction for beginners as well as a reference for advanced embroiderers.


  • Instructions are simple and easy to understand
  • Includes section on how to read charted patterns
  • Includes several designs suitable for beginners


  • Does not include advanced techniques for experienced cross stitchers

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2.) Cross Stitch: Learn Cross Stitch FAST!

Cross Stitch Learn Cross Stitch FAST!

Cross stitch enthusiast Ashton Cruise wrote “Cross Stitch: Learn to Cross Stitch FAST!” in order to provide beginners with a complete cross stitch course that could replace learning with a teacher or figuring it out on your own. Although the emphasis is on fast learning, the book’s course is flexible, and readers can practice wherever and whenever they want.

“Learn Cross Stitch FAST!” includes an overview of cross stitch history, information on materials, different stitch techniques, and many creative ideas and patterns. Beginners will find a comprehensive guide to cross stitching that they can pick up any time.


  • Written as a complete cross stitch course
  • Designed for fast learning
  • Includes instructions for many different stitches


  • There is a lot of information in this book, which may be overwhelming

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3.) Embroider Everything Workshop: The Beginner’s Guide

Embroider Everything Workshop The Beginner's Guide

“Embroider Everything Workshop: The Beginner’s Guide” covers all kinds of embroidery, from cross stitch and needlepoint to beading and applique. The book is a complete course in embroidery, with basic skill lessons and instructions for advanced techniques.

Featuring detailed instructions, design inspiration, full-color photos, iron-on transfer pattern sheets, and even a practice-stitch card, “Embroider Everything Workshop” is a comprehensive needlepoint book suitable for any beginner.


  • Contains instruction on all types of embroidery
  • 40 creative patterns using different styles and techniques
  • Includes practice stitch card and iron-on pattern transfers


  • May be too basic for anyone with previous or advanced experience

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4.) 400 Knitting Stitches: A Complete Dictionary of Essential Stitch Patterns

400 Knitting Stitches A Complete Dictionary of Essential Stitch Patterns400 Knitting Stitches A Complete Dictionary of Essential Stitch Patterns

Knitting is closely related to embroidery, and knit pieces work well as cross stitching fabric. To add knitting to your needlework knowledge, “400 Knitting Stitches” contains nearly every stitch there is, from the most basic knit and purl patterns to intricate lace.

This book offers clear instructions and pictures for the beginning knitter, as well as a section on basic knitting terms and techniques. For the more advanced knitters designing their own patterns, the huge dictionary of stitches is a valuable reference.


  • Instructions for over 400 different stitch patterns
  • Includes a section on basic knitting techniques
  • Photos and charts are in full color


  • Does not include an index of stitches

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5.) Two-Hour Cross-Stitch: Animals: 300 Quick & Easy Designs

Two-Hour Cross-Stitch Animals 300 Quick & Easy Designs

Even if you’re short on time, you can still learn to cross stitch with “Two Hour Cross Stitch: Animals.” Each design in this book takes only two hours to complete, and with 300 options, there is a design for everyone.

Featuring adorable vintage and retro-style animal designs (including everything from cute dogs to dancing frogs), the book is organized by theme and even has a “Basics” section with information on stitches, charts, and thread. With so many designs, “Two Hour Cross Stitch” is an excellent option for beginners looking to practice their skills.


  • Contains a huge collection of designs
  • Includes basic stitch techniques for beginners
  • All designs can be completed in two hours or less


  • There is only one kind of design (animals)

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Wrapping Up

Cross stitch is a beautiful art with a rich history, and for learning this new skill, a good book is an excellent resource. Each of the cross stitch books above are written with beginners in mind, and contain a wealth of cross stitch knowledge that even advanced embroiderers will find helpful and return to again. Using the instructions and advice found in these books, anyone can learn to cross stitch and take part in this unique, creative hobby.

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